06 May 2013

Things That Make Me Uncomfortable

I'm not following the Blog Everyday in May link-up party, but I am stealing one of her writing prompts today. :)

Being in a new country means getting used to a lot of new things. It also means a lot of awkward, uncomfortable moments. Let me share a few of my favorites with you.


Kissing Strangers


The French call them the "Bises." I call them unsanitary. In a nut shell, you are required to kiss certain people on the cheek when greeting them, sometimes people you don't even know. In my region, it's just two kisses (thank goodness!), but in some regions they give three or four. After two years, I'm still freak out by this.

I used to know this one guy who would lick his lips before doing the bises. It was wet and disgusting, plus he was a pervert and grossed me out anyways. He ended up make a unsavory, sexually objectifying comment about me in front of a large group of people that we knew, and I was no longer socially required to kiss his oily cheeks. Win! Errr..... sort of.

*The one exception to this rule was Monsieur Right. When we first met, I had a fan girl moment when he kissed me on the cheeks, and called my American friends back home to tell them. I thought it was the best thing ever!


Eating Meat that's Been Sitting Out - All Night


I've seen people reserve last night's dinner that's been sitting out all night for lunch the next day, chicken included. I asked one of my French friends about it, and she had no idea why I thought that was weird. I tried tell to her how bad it is for you. She just looked at me and said, "That's weird, since   no one's died from it yet." Touché. I've eaten meat that I know has been sitting out many times since coming to France and I have gotten sick yet from it. Not even once.

Still not comfortable with it...

Waiting


Everything here goes sooo slowlyyyyyy, especially paperwork. If you look on an organization's website they will probably give you a list of documents that you need to bring in. Then you will arrive, wait in line for two hours, and then they will look at you funny. "Why did you bring this? You don't need that! You really need papers X & Y."

So you look everywhere for papers X & Y, maybe you even pay a lot of money for certified copies. You then return the building. You wait in line for an hour, finally get up to the front, and they will tell you, "This is not my job. You need to talk to some one else." You ask them who, but of course, it is not their job to find out who you need to give those papers to. That is your problem.

It goes on and on like this for about two weeks before you finally have all the papers handed into the right person. They will then send you a letter, three months later, saying that they never received document X. When you kindly explain that you had in fact turned it in with all of the other documents, they might tell you, "Oh, well, I guess we must have lost it. You'll need to bring in another one."
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What makes you uncomfortable? Is there anything that makes you feel really awkward, but you have to do it for social reasons (like the cheek kissing thing)?

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